Well, I must say that Hogan regaining the title wasn't on my list of the top ten things I wanted to see in 1999 but perhaps it was the best thing the WCW could have done. Now before you start screaming about how stupid I am hear me out.
Consider the former champion Goldberg. Even those of us who were sick to death of the unbeatable one didn't want to see him lose to a heal. At the time of his victory, Nash was still a very popular character with a huge fan base. That, along with the interference of Hall and his cattle prod kept Goldberg unbeaten to many fans yet provided the necessary title change.
Necessary title change? Absolutely. On the same hand that very few people wanted to see Goldberg lose, even fewer wanted to see Goldberg remain champion. Throughout the history of wrestling most champions have been a heal. Its a good storyline to have the good guy battle the evil champion only to be thwarted by some twist only seconds before he wins the title. If it wasn't good then all major wrestling organizations along with screen writers, play writers and all authors wouldn?t use it. It keeps the viewer tuned in until next week ?when we hear the champion say....?
When Hogan retired I had truly hoped we had seen the last of him but seriously doubted we had at the same time. Perhaps the reality of a presidential candidacy being far out of his reach hit home with him. Perhaps the whole "Hulk for President" thing was in itself nothing more than a big joke. Who knows? Who cares? The bottom line as far as Hogan goes is we are all sick to death of him. Which makes him the perfect heal for this venture.
Think for a moment about the talent in the WCW. I mean real talent. Odds are you have only used four out of ten fingers to get the total. Odds also are that the most talented wrestler in the WCW, Bret "Vince screwed me over" Hart is one of those four.
One could make a safe bet in assuming that part of the deal that brought Bret to WCW was a world title. To date, however, Bret's role has been very limited in the WCW. Not only limited, pretty lame as well. The upper management can't decided how to use him. Bret's new video venture hasn?t helped him too much either. How many employers are going to be too concerned about an employees' happiness when they know he can't leave to seek a higher payday? All that aside though, its time for Bret to get his due. Its time for him to wear the belt...as the good guy.
The biggest problem with that theory is the character that Bret has established for himself. One week he is a face the next a heel. Watching the transformation has been like riding a see-saw with the fat kid. Up and down at an extremely violent rate and at times rather painful. So this being the case, the only way for Bret to redeem himself is turn his back on his one time friend, being the king heel Hogan and take the title from him regardless of outside interference. This ending would allow a smooth transition from Goldberg to Hart without ruffling too many feathers.
What about Nash, Hall and Luger turning heel then? Just prepare yourselves to say goodbye to Hogan once more. Probably in the match with Hart. Maybe a stipulation that puts title and career against career. This would make the most sense. Then with Hogan gone someone needs to take control of the NWO. Steroid Steiner has proven he doesn't have the class or moxy to handle the task so pass the torch to Nash with Hall and Luger at his side.
This may never happen but then again anything is possible. Think of the possibilities. Goldberg and Sting vs. Hall and Nash...that in itself would be a highly entertaining match. Then with Hart as the champion maybe the championship title bouts would return to actual wrestling matches instead of the usual slaughter feast that Goldberg treated us to.
So before you bash the WCW try and see the potential bigger picture. This could very well be the quickest way to make the WCW a more entertaining product with a true class champion in Hart and many intense matches with big name stars....just hide and watch.
Joseph Holt is a freelance writer in the Ft. Worth Texas area and a regular contributor to Solie's. His own web site, called Double Xposure, is located at: http://members.aol.com/Holt70/page/index.htm and features his articles on subjects besides pro-wrestling.
We open with stills from the Flair father and son match Sunday night then cut to a scene recorded earlier of Ric Flair throwing a fit and saying that Hogan is a "dead man".
Nitro is live from Columbus, Ohio. We switch to the inside of the Wolf Pack limo as they arrive at the arena. Flair and the Horsemen attack the car! Flair shatters one of the side windows of the limo with Arn's tire iron and the limo splits. Flair goes to the ring where Mean Gene waits for him. He takes off on Hogan, telling him that he has booked himself to wrestle Hogan for the World Title at SuperBrawl (Dave Meltzer reported this over the weekend). He calls him an SOB and says that Hogan will have to kill him to keep him from killing Hogan. He swears that at SuperBrawl there will be no nWo inteference. Then he orders Eric Bischoff to the ring right now. Bischoff appears on the ramp and says he had nothing to do with what happened Sunday. Claims he wasn't in the building. Flair orders Bischoff to face him in the ring tonight. Bischoff says his contract doesn't require him to wrestle. Flair offers to shave his head if Bischoff beats him. Still Bischoff demurs. Flair then offers Bischoff his job back if he wins and then throws in that he will "go away for ever". Bischoff asks for clarification but before Flair can reply David Flair shows some fire as he shoves Bischoff out of his way and goes to the ring to demand that he (David) be the one to face Bischoff. Flair objects at first then (apparently having not learned his lesson) agrees to allow it. Bischoff likes that offer and accepts it then tries to leave - but Flair stops him and adds the stip that Bischoff will get his head shaved if David wins (actually he says "...we shave your head and your a$$" to which Legendary Larry quips, "Can't we just shave his head..?"). No more is said about Flair going "away forever." Cut to commercial.
More stills from Souled Out. The ladder match is highlighted. Cut to Nitro Grrrrls dancing in the ring. Their dance routine is elementary since Kimberly occupies the front row. More stills from the ladder match are shown.
Chris Jericho (w/Ralphus) vs. - Booker T - where is the justice for Saturn? The announcers are talking about what happened Sunday - how the referee tipped Saturn over to help Jericho pin his shoulders then made a fast count - but nobody is proposing to do anything about it. Where is JJ Dillon? Where is Ric Flair? Booker's and Jericho's tights are very similar - black long style with flames. Booker is all over Jericho to start as expected. Mickey Jay is the referee so the former Cruiserweight Champ doesn't have that going for him. Booker continues to dominate the action as the match proceeds until he throws a round kick and hangs himself up on the top rope then tumbles to the floor. Jericho splashes him then runs him into the apron. Back in the ring, Jericho executes a high verticle suplex but makes a cavalier cover and fails to get the pin. Booker comes back with a twisting float-over to a roll-up and gets a two count. Jericho roars back and grabs a reverse chinlock. Booker escapes but then catches a knee to the gut on the bounce back. The match goes to the floor again where Jericho chokes Booker with a TV cable. He gets a flying elbow then follows with a senton splash after they return to the ring. Jericho continues his assault until gets a boot into his face. His respite is momentary then Jericho puts him down again. Jericho lauches himself off the top and meets Booker's upraised boot. The match goes into seesaw mode but Booker is gaining ground. He gets a missle drop-kick to win the match. Excellent opening contest!
Mean Gene talks with JJ Dillon. My God! He's suspended Scott Dickenson! Maybe there is some justice... He wants to set up a triangle match pitting Goldberg vs. Bigalow vs. Scott Hall for tonight. More on that later. He confirms that the match between David Flair and Eric Bischoff has been made for later tonight. Cut to commercial.
Video replay of the Horsemen attack on the nWo limo earlier tonight and his subsequent antics in the ring.
Mean Gene is backstage with Rey Misterio, Jr. He questions him about why he kept his LWO shirt after Flair dissolved the group. Rey says they are his colors and represent his race. They discuss his problems with Lex Luger (who tried to remove the shirt the other night) - Rey wants to face Luger tonight. This is another angle I have heard rumors about lately - that Rey will start facing heavyweights on a regular basis. Cut to commercial.
More stills from the Tag Team main event at Souled Out.
David Flair vs. Eric Bischoff - Hair match - David comes to the ring alone for this one (I assume the Horsemen are around somewhere to watch his back. So does Bischoff, but then we know that means nothing. He takes his sweet time getting there. The match is starting at 8:53. Bischoff makes a big deal about having the referee check David for weapons. Bischoff toys with the kid to start then lays in some karate shots. He turns aside to pose for the crowd then turns back and gets laid out with a fist full of quarters to the side of the head! David gets the pin!! Flair and the Horsemen come to the ring and proceed to shave his head (Bischoff is out cold through it all). His roots are grey, by the way. Arn Anderson puts quarters on his eyes like a corpse. He wakes up to find himself partially shorn and tries to put the hair back on his head. He slinks away from the ring. The replay shows that Randy Anderson slipped the roll of coins to David!! Cut to commercial.
Backstage, Chris Jericho is kissing up to JJ Dillon who wants to know what Jericho wants. Jericho is insisting that Saturn has to continue to wear the dress for the next 90 days - he has found the dress discarded on the floor. Saturn shows up and takes the dress back.
Konnan comes to the ring to make a statement. His speech is impassioned, insisting that Nash and Luger have been in league with Hogan and Bischoff from the beginning while he really thought they were his friends. He promises to make their lives miserable and says that he has friends (real ones) to help him take care of the nWo. Cut to more stills from the PPV then to commercial.
Video review of Bischoff's sheering incident.
Faces of Fear...er First Family vs. Bobby Duncum, Jr./Mike Enos - Tag Team Title Tournament semi-final match - the match starts before the bell and involves all four men. It sorts out to Duncum vs Meng but then Duncum decides to dive bomb the Barbarian on the floor. Back in the ring, Meng leaves and the opponents double-team the Barbarian. Meng comes in and kicks the tar out of Duncum, who lands on Barbarian and almost gets the pin. Enos comes in against Barbarian and the tide turns for a moment but then Meng gets involved and Enos is on the receiving end. Meng tags in and he and Enos struggle to get a backslide. Barbarian interferes and Enos is down. Now Duncum invades the ring and all four are at it again. The referee seems to be unable to control this thing. It's hard to tell who the legal men are but Tony says its Meng and Enos still. Meng gets a piledriver which brings Duncum in. In the back, Hogan's limo is back, Bischoff is compaining about Flair's actions (on a variety of fronts). Hogan and company head right to the ring as the match goes on. They swarm in and end the match prematurely. It takes four or five of them to handle Meng but they get it done. Bischoff has a hat jammed onto his head. Duncum is shocked by the taser and someone must have told him how to behave (the other night he didn't seem to feel the electricity). Hogan makes a self-serving speech and accepts Flair's challenge for the Title at SuperBrawl.
What I can't figure out is why all these jobbers are still hanging out with Hogan and company? Is this the "new" nWo? Cut to commercial.
Wrath vs. Disco Inferno - this would seem to be an inevitable squash except for the possibility of the Scott Hall connection. Sure enough Disco arrives wearing Wolf Pack colors. Wrath is unimpressed. He shoves Disco on his can to start the match. Disco comes back but his attacks are repulsed easily. He leaves the ring to regroup. As he returns to the ring, Scott Hall appears on the platform and heads to the ring. He has the taser with him. Disco gets a swinging neckbreaker and puts Wrath down for the first time in the match. Moments later he is thrown off of a side headlock but he keeps firing back with boots to the chest and mid-section. Wrath is alittle slowed but Disco is starting to run out of gas. Soon Wrath is back in control. He takes Disco to the floor and creams him then catches him with a slingshot forearm coming back in. He gets the Death Penalty then goes for the Meltdown but here comes Hall. He touches Wrath with the taser but it doesn't seem to work. Wrath knocks Hall down then turns back to receive a boot to the stomach followed by a Chart Buster. Disco gets the pin!!! Major upset time. Cut to commercial.
Nitro Grrrrls dance on the platform as we return. Scott Steiner comes out and interrupts to hit on the Grrrrls. Kimberly urges the dancers to leave as Steiner taunts her about beating her man. Another commercial.
Scott Steiner (w/Buff Bagwell) vs. Perry Saturn - Saturn comes down in his dress much to the delight of the nWo thugs. Steiner implies that Saturn is homosexual which earns him a fist to the head. Steiner and Bagwell are both knocked out of the ring. Both of these competitors are wrestling machines - not surprisingly they put on a suplex clinic. Saturn is at a distinct disadvantage with Buff interfering from the outside. The fight goes to the floor where Saturn is pretty well beaten down then Steiner returns to the ring while Bagwell keeps up the pressure on the outside. Saturn is rolled back in and slumps in the corner, but catches Steiner coming in with a boot to the head and turns the tables. He drop-kicks Steiner to the floor then splashes him, rolls him back in and splashes him again. He goes for the DVD but Buff interferes again. Steiner gets a suplex then applies the Steiner Recliner until Saturn passes out. Cut to commercial.
More Nitro Grrrls on the ramp this time. Cut to tape of Luger beating Rey Misterio, Jr. and then racking him.
Luger and Nash come to the ring with Miss Liz who is sporting a "new rack" of her own (I forgot to mention that Sunday night). Nash taunts Konnan by shouting "Oil of Ole!" then comments on Konnan's earlier rant. He says Konnan has "no heart", "no endurance" and "no soul." Luger takes the mic to taunt Rey Misterio. He offers to let the little guy out of their match later if he just hands over his mask. Otherwise he's going to unmask the luchadore in public. Cut to commercial.
Scott Steiner invades the Nitro Grrrrls dressing room to harrass Kimberly some more. Security guys escort him out. Cut to stills of the Four-way Cruiserweight match from Sunday night.
Psychosis vs. Juventud Guerrera - Psychosis has a size advantage here (as most opponents do against Juvey) - Juvey is still sporting his new, more belligerent attitude. We cut to commercial before the match really gets going.
Psychosis is in charge as we return. He slaps on a reverse chinlock, Juvey tries to escape but is knocked down before he can succeed. Psychosis drop-kicks him to the floor. Back inside he continues his assault, then goes up for a twisting moonsault that misses. Juvey gets to the top and launches but Psychosis catches him with a drop-kick in mid-air. he falis to get the pin and pauses to argue with the referee. Juvey comes back with a reversal which drops Psychosis on his face. He drags his opponent to the top rope but then takes too long pounding on him and gets dropped spreadeagle on the top rope. Juvey falls to the floor and is on the receiving end of a suicide dive. Back inside, Juvey is reeling and falls victim to a drop-kick from the top. Psychosis gets an inverted suplex then goes for a powerbomb bt Juvey shifts the balance and turns it into a bulldog. He slumps in the corner and catches Psychosis rushing in with a boot to the chest. Psychosis comes back with a big suplex then hits the guillotine leg drop and gets the pin. Again an upset. Cut to commercial.
Lex Luger vs. Rey Misterio, Jr. - David vs Goliath match - Luger again makes the offer to let Rey out of the match in exchange for his mask and LWO shirt. He calls Rey a "cute little wrestler". He then attacks suddenly. Luger manhandles his much smaller opponent (Luger must be about 100 lbs. heavier). Rey sidesteps a rush and gets a flurry of offense - Luger is reeling as Rey puts the bucking bronco on him then splashes him and goes for a pin. No cigar. Luger comes back with a powerslam. Uh oh - here comes Kevin Nash. Nash stays out of it for the time being as he cheers his fellow thug on. In the ring Luger presses Rey over his head and threatens to throw him out of the ring - then simply slams him. Luger grabs the mask and Rey explodes all over him then springbaords into a drop-kick to the knee. Luger is surprised and takes some more shots but overwhelms Rey. Rey comes right back and has Luger on the ropes when Nash comes in and puts on a sidewalk slam. They both turn their backs and Rey comes roaring back!! Finally they subdue him with a Jack Knife and the Rack. They are getting ready to unmask him when Konnan runs in with a chair and chases them out of the ring. We see some video of the opening press conference for the Nitro Grill restaurant (opening at the Excalibar Hotel in Las Vegas this spring) then cut to commercial.
Steiner is trying to invade the Grrrrls' dressing room again but can;t get past the door this time. Cut to commercial.
Scott Hall (w/Disco Inferno) vs. Bam Bam Bigalow vs. Goldberg - Triangle Match - Hall and Goldberg makes their entrances then Bigalow comes running out from the back and attacks Hall (and Disco) in the aisle. He rolls Hall into the ring and he and Goldberg go to work with common purpose. Hall should have thought of this. Hall is tossed out and the other two go at it for a moment until Hall returns. Now Hall and Bigalow are teaming up against Goldberg - but he manages to fight them both off!! He flings them one at atime into the corner then spears them both. They start to work on him again then nWo members (B-Team) swarm into the ring followed by the rest of the Wolf Pack. Next comes the Horsemen. Hogan and company split with Flair hot on their tails. Flair dispatches Hall in the entryway then runs out too late to stop the departing limo.
That's all for tonight. See you Thursday. Until then...
At least that's the way I see it...
Editor, Solie's Wrestling Newsletter
This page is a personal tribute and is in no way connected to any of the wrestling promotions mentioned on it. It is dedicated to the Dean of Wrestling announcers, Gordon Solie. Copyright 1998 - Jump City Productions